Mary J. Blige has been cast to play Betty Shabazz in the upcoming film, Parallel Lives, a television film about Shabazz and Coretta Scott King, the widows of Malcolm X and Martin Luther King, Jr., respectively:
“The R&B star, who makes her debut as a leading lady on the screen in the upcoming Rock of Ages, will play Betty Shabazz in Parallel Lives. She tells WENN, ‘It’s about the lives of Coretta Scott King and Betty Shabazz, the women in Malcolm X’s and Martin Luther King’s life (sic). I’m playing Betty and prepping for that now. I’ve been studying her online and watching her interviews.'”
Filming will start in September.
Blige has definitely been trying to buttress her acting resume lately. It’s clear that she wants to play Nina Simone in any biopic of the singer.
With this latest project, not only does Blige help her case, but perhaps folks will soon forget her sassy turn in an ill-conceived Burger King commercial.
Although Blige adds name recognition to any film project she joins, she does so at the expense of other more talented black actresses who struggle to find roles. (Hello, Audra McDonald.)
Does Blige have the acting chops to pull this off?
Who would you rather see play Betty Shabazz?
Sound off below!